By RICARDO WELLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE body of Christopher Turnquest, the man who police believed drowned after his skiff capsized following a collision with a Royal Bahamas Defence Force patrol vessel on Saturday, washed up in waters near Paradise Island yesterday.
This was first confirmed by Ryan Turnquest, the deceased’s older brother, who told The Tribune that the tragedy came as the two just concluded their maiden voyage as commercial fishermen.
Police yesterday said that shortly after 9am Monday, divers from the RBDF retrieved the lifeless body of a male submerged in waters west of Paradise Island.
Police said the male was believed to be the boater reported missing following an incident at sea over the weekend, as they awaited the results of an autopsy for the exact cause of death.
However, Ryan Turnquest, clearly shaken and devastated by the loss of his brother, said the two returned to port last Friday, bringing to a close a seven-week venture which they had hoped was the first of many successful outings.
He said the family will seek justice in this matter and plan to celebrate the life of their lost loved one in the coming weeks.
He added that he plans to rename their boat in honour of his dead brother.
“This is hard to talk about,” he said. “We had just gotten in on Friday and he went back out to service the boats with a cousin of ours. He was out there to change the spark plugs and check the dinghies.”
Mr Turnquest said his younger brother always had a love and passion for the sea. He said the 24 year old pursued a life as a commercial fisherman following stints at Phil’s Mega Store and other places.
“He was always hardworking. From a young kid, 14, he was working at Ryan’s Christmas Tree Stall on Prince Charles. Work was always a big deal - that is why we got into fishing together. This was supposed to be our thing.
“This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. We just got back, and now this,” he added.
According to police reports, the 13-foot skiff occupied by the deceased and another man, later identified as his cousin, was struck by a RBDF patrol vessel around 8pm on Saturday just east of Potter’s Cay Dock.
The deceased’s family indicated on Sunday that the crash happened in the harbour near BASRA.
The other person was immediately recovered from the water by the RBDF and was unharmed.
A search party was dispatched in the harbour a short time later, but the search proved unsuccessful.
The search for Mr Turnquest involved RBDF vessels and divers, shoreline search teams and the Royal Bahamas Police Force Marine Unit.